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Rhode Island employment law overview

Living in Rhode Island can be one of the best ways to spend your life. The state, despite its small size, offers quite a bit to residents and visitors. Working in Rhode Island can be just as pleasurable, but you should educate yourself on the employment laws of the state.

It is illegal for an employer to create an environment that breeds unwanted sexual advances, sexual comments, demands for sexual favors and sexually explicit material. All of this is grounds for a sexual harassment lawsuit against the employer.

Wrongful termination is another area of Rhode Island employment law. Wrongful termination occurs when a company fires an employee for being a whistleblower or in violation of the terms of their contract.

Employment discrimination is an important topic to understand in Rhode Island. People might be awarded damages for the following employment discrimination:

- Race discrimination

- Age discrimination

- Gender of sex discrimination

- Sexual orientation discrimination

- Pregnancy or disability discrimination

- Religious discrimination

Employees who are forced to work overtime without pay or have been exploited by their employer in any other way can file a case under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Employees who have been accused of quitting or committed a violation of company policy, but did not, can sue the employer for unemployment compensation. This is done by filing an appeal against the denial of unemployment compensation.

Employees have rights that are protected by state and federal laws. Some of those rights include the following:

- Equal Pay Act

- Employment Retirement Income Security Act

- Employment contract violations

- Family and Medical Leave Act


Victims of employment discrimination or any other violation of the Rhode Island employment laws might be able to sue for damages. Damages plaintiffs can recover include legal fees, lost wages, loss of future wages and more.

An experienced employment law attorney can answer all of your questions in Providence, Rhode Island, and educate you on your rights.

Source: RI Department of Labor and Training, "Rhode Island General Employment Laws Rules and Regulations," accessed March 10, 2017

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Providence, RI 02903

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